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What is The Financial Education Program?
The Financial Education Program is a workplace-based initiative of United Way in partnership with Community Capital Resources and The Volunteer Center of United Way. Through a series of 45 min – 1 hour workshops, The Financial Education Program provides education and tools that help people make smarter financial decisions that will improve their lives and strengthen their futures, at no cost to the organization and/or the employee.

Why is The Financial Education Program important?
In this stressful economic climate so many people in the workforce have been negatively impacted. Consequently, it has never been more important for your people to understand how to best manage their current resources and attain, retain and grow assets to ensure financial stability and achieve long-term economic independence. United Way created The Financial Education Program to provide tools to empower low-to-moderate income employees to make more effective decisions regarding budgeting and financial planning, managing credit, debt reduction, identity theft, and other financial issues. Educating individuals on the basics of finance could help buffer them from upcoming economic crises, and provide the tools to protect and grow their assets for a more secure future for themselves and their families.

How does The Financial Education Program benefit your organization/company?
Stress from financial insecurity can contribute to poor physical and/or mental health and can lead to tension and division within families - all of which affect the productivity of employees. By participating in the program at no cost, the organization/company may contribute to increased employee productivity and wellbeing. The Financial Education Program is also an inexpensive addition to an overall employee benefits package which enhances employee satisfaction, retention and stability.

Program focus
With input from local experts and community investors and the help of trained volunteers, United Way works with the human resource departments of businesses, corporations, non-profits and other institutions to customize
a multi-session approach that provides financial education to employees on their choice of offered topics.

Workshops
The workshops are structured in 45-minute to 1-hour sessions and are offered during lunch or at other convenient times when a group of employees are convened.

Location
At the workplace.

Curriculum

Module 1. Basic Banking – choosing the right bank for you; banks versus credit unions; why bank accounts are important; different kinds of accounts and their fees; what you need to open an account; overdraft protection;
understanding debit cards and electronic banking; ChexSystems.

Module 2. Budgeting and Financial Planning – basic household budgeting; keeping control of your income; how to be a good homeowner; creating a statement of net worth; household records.

Module 3. Credit and Credit Cards – how to obtain and manage credit; types of credit; advantages and disadvantages of credit; cost of credit; credit to avoid; what you should look for in a credit card; the trap of minimum monthly payments; secured credit cards; consumer rights; is debt consolidation for you?

Module 4. Credit Reports and Credit Scores – what is your credit history; how to build a good credit history; the cost of bad credit; what is a credit report; how to correct mistakes on your report; your credit rights; The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Module 5. Debt – how to use credit wisely; good debt versus bad debt; creating a debt management plan; what to do when you can’t make the minimum payments; bankruptcy; The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Module 6. Building Assets: Saving and Investing – steps to financial freedom; creating a savings plan; renting versus ownership; the power of compound interest; advantages and disadvantages of various savings methods; saving for retirement: 401k's, IRAs; investing options.

Module 7. Foreclosure – what is the process; how to protect your home from foreclosure; how long does it take; types of remedies; consequences; where to get help; how to avoid foreclosure scams.

Module 8. Financial Fraud and Identity Theft – typical financial frauds and scams; how to protect yourself and what to do if you are a victim; recognizing credit card scams and identity theft; avoiding foreclosure scams; credit repair scams; protecting yourself from Internet fraud; abusive lending.

United Way believes that by reaching out a hand to one, you influence the condition of all. By participating in the program, you are positively affecting your employee, your organization and our community at large. We look forward to bringing this exciting opportunity to your work place.

For more information, please contact Mary Ann Luna at mluna@uwwp.org, 914-997-6700 ext 740 / or Doris Perez, dperez@uwwp.org, 914-997-6700 ext 738.

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